The second volume in a series dedicated to fossil discoveries made in the Afar region of Ethiopia, Ardipithecus kadabba contains the definitive description of the geological context and paleoenvironment of the early hominid Ardipithecus kadabba. This research by an international team describes Middle Awash late Miocene faunal assemblages recovered from sediments firmly dated to between 5.2 and 5.8 million years ago. Compared to other assemblages of similar age, the Middle Awash record is unparalleled in taxonomic diversity, composed of 2760 specimens representing at least sixty five mammalian genera.
This comprehensive evaluation of the vertebrates from the end of the Miocene in Africa provides detailed morphological and taxonomic descriptions of dozens of taxa, including species new to science. It also incorporates results from analyses of paleoenvironment, paleobiogeography, biochronology, and faunal turnover around the Pliocene-Miocene boundary, opening a new window on the evolution of mammals, African fauna, and its environments.
"The late F. Clark Howell had a vision of paleoanthropology as a fully integrated set of many scientific disciplines. This meticulously documented work is the first in a series that fulfills his vision. It is a magisterial synthesis of important early hominid fossils and their contemporaneous mammals placed in regionally dated stratigraphic sequences and reconstructed paleoenvironments. It is enhanced by images of sites and moments of discovery that are usually left to popular articles and that will give the reader a glimpse of the rigors of field work in a remote region of Africa."
– Alan Walker, Pennsylvania State University
"This carefully planned and creatively crafted book is a record of a previously little-known niche of Africa's past. It recounts the tale of more than three thousand fossils, including twenty hominid specimens representing the new ancestral species Ardipithecus kadabba and their location in space, time and environment. Together they paint a picture of Africa in the late Miocene, of five to six million years ago. It was a part of northeast Africa, the Middle Awash of Ethiopia, at a time when it was rent by volcanoes and rifting. From this tectonically ravaged past, one marvels at such beauteous byproducts as this book reveals. To do justice to Ethiopia's surprises needs an exceptional book. This volume is worthy of the challenge: it is a model of its kind and will be hard to surpass. Happily, this is the first great volume on such matters to be edited by two sons of Africa, Doctors Haile-Selassie and WoldeGabriel, with a cast of twenty-five contributors from eight countries."
– Phillip V. Tobias, F.R.S., For.M.NAS, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
"Here we have the life and times of Ardipithecus kadabba, the intriguing hominin lying near the divergence of the human lineage from that of the African Great Apes. Meticulously put together and rigorously documented, this book illustrates the intrinsic value of the best monographic publications of its kind. It provides rich, detailed information concerning A. kadabba, the other creatures that populated the eastern African landscape in the late Miocene, and their geological and paleoenvironmental surroundings. Synthesizing these data into an illuminating picture of one of our very earliest plausible ancestors, situated in its temporal and environmental context, the book is valuable not just for paleoanthropologists, but for all biologists interested in the ancient fauna of this great region of the world, its history and paleobiogeography."
– Andrew Hill, Yale University
Series Preface Tim White
Preface Yohannes Haile-Selassie and Giday Wolde Gabriel
Yohannes Haile-Selassie and Giday Wolde Gabriel
Stratigraphy of the Adu-Asa Formation
Giday WoldeGabriel, William K. Hart, Paul R. Renne,
Yohannes Haile-Selassie, and Tim White
Volcanic Record of the Adu-Asa Formation
William K. Hart, Giday WoldeGabriel, Yohannes Haile-Selassie,
and Paul R. Renne
Paul R. Renne, Leah E. Morgan, Giday WoldeGabriel, William K. Hart,
and Yohannes Haile-Selassie
Henry B. Wesselman, Michael T. Black, and Mesfi n Asnake
Stephen R. Frost, Yohannes Haile-Selassie, and Leslea Hlusko
Yohannes Haile-Selassie, Gen Suwa, and Tim White
Yohannes Haile-Selassie and F. Clark Howell
Yohannes Haile-Selassie, Elisabeth S. Vrba, and Faysal Bibi
Jean-Renaud Boisserie and Yohannes Haile-Selassie
Raymond L. Bernor and Yohannes Haile-Selassie
Ioannis X. Giaourtsakis, Cesur Pehlevan, and Yohannes Haile-Selassie
Haruo Saegusa and Yohannes Haile-Selassie
Denise F. Su, Stanley H. Ambrose, David DeGusta, and Yohannes
Raymond L. Bernor, Lorenzo Rook, and Yohannes Haile-Selassie
Biochronology, Faunal Turnover, and Evolution
Yohannes Haile-Selassie, Tim White, Raymond L. Bernor,
Lorenzo Rook, and Elisabeth S. Vrba
Yohannes Haile-Selassie and Giday Wolde Gabriel
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Yohannes Haile-Selassie is Curator and Head of Physical Anthropology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in Ohio. Giday WoldeGabriel is a geologist at the Earth Environmental Sciences Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.